New Hampshire Route 101

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New Hampshire Route 101

Map of southern New Hampshire with NH 101 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by NHDOT
Length95.189 mi[1] (153.192 km)
Major junctions
West end NH 9 / NH 10 / NH 12 in Keene
Major intersections
East end NH 1A in Hampton Beach
CountryUnited States
StateNew Hampshire
CountiesCheshire, Hillsborough, Rockingham
Highway system
NH 97 NH 101C
NH 49NH 51 NH 63
NH 101DNH 101E NH 102

New Hampshire Route 101 (NH 101) is a state-maintained highway in southern New Hampshire extending from Keene to Hampton Beach. It is the major east–west highway in the southern portion of the state. Most of its eastern portion is a major freeway linking the greater Manchester area to the Seacoast Region. At 95.189 miles (153.192 km) in length, NH 101 nearly spans the entire width of southern New Hampshire.

The western terminus of NH 101 is in Keene at the junction of NH 9, NH 10, and NH 12. The eastern terminus is in Hampton Beach at the junction with Ocean Boulevard (NH 1A).

Between Exeter and Hampton, NH 101 is known as the Exeter–Hampton Expressway.

There are two current and three former auxiliary routes for NH 101. The current routes are NH 101A, which connects Milford and Nashua, and NH 101E, which parallels the main route in Hampton.

Route description

Western segment (Keene to Bedford)

The western terminus of NH 101 is in Keene at the main intersection of NH 9, NH 10, and NH 12 anchoring the South Keene retail district. NH 101 begins eastbound cosigned with southbound NH 10 and NH 12. At a traffic circle immediately east of this intersection, NH 10 leaves to the south along Winchester Street, while NH 12 turns south at the next major intersection, Main Street. NH 101 continues east through both of these intersections as Marlboro Street, then leaves Keene at the city's southeast corner for the town of Marlborough. Following Main Street through the main village of Marlborough, NH 101 meets the western terminus of NH 124 in the center of the village and then proceeds east into the town of Dublin. Also known as Main Street in Dublin, NH 101 passes the northern shore of Dublin Pond and the main offices of Yankee Publishing (publishers of Yankee Magazine and the Old Farmer's Almanac) in the central village of Dublin. There is an intersection with NH 137 on the eastern side of Dublin, where NH 101 turns southeast. Entering the town of Peterborough, the road's name changes to Dublin Road, meeting US 202 in the main village of Peterborough for a short concurrency along Wilton Road. At Granite Street, where US 202 leaves to the north, another short concurrency begins with NH 123, which joins NH 101 on Wilton Road. NH 123 leaves southbound on Elm Hill Road, and NH 101 leaves Peterborough at the town's southeastern corner near Miller State Park and Pack Monadnock Mountain, a popular hiking and birdwatching destination. NH 101 next enters the town of Temple, home to Temple Mountain, a former ski resort and current state park. Known locally as Gibbons Highway, NH 101 intersects NH 45 in the northern part of the town and next enters Wilton. Joining NH 31 at the northern bank of the Souhegan River, the two routes cross the river to the south bank before NH 31 leaves to the north in the main village of Wilton, while NH 101 continues eastward along the south bank of the Souhegan River along Gibbons Highway into neighboring Milford, where the name changes to Elm Street. West of the main village of Milford, NH 101 turns southeast onto a two-lane freeway bypass of the central business district while Elm Street continues on as NH 101A. There is an interchange with NH 13 and a second interchange with NH 101A as the freeway turns north into Amherst. The route bypasses to the east of the Amherst Village Historic District, which covers the main village of Amherst, and has two interchanges with NH 122; the southernmost of the two is a half-interchange. Past the northern interchange, the freeway ends and turns northeast.

Bedford and Manchester

Entering Bedford near the town's southwestern corner, the route crosses the town diagonally to the northeast, and at an intersection with NH 114 turns southeast onto a four-lane divided freeway. Shortly after the beginning of the freeway section is a complex series of interchanges with US 3 (South River Road), Meetinghouse Road, I-293 and the F.E. Everett Turnpike. As NH 101 crosses over the Turnpike, I-293 southbound leaves the Turnpike and joins NH 101 eastbound across the Merrimack River into the city of Manchester. In Manchester, there are interchanges with NH 3A (Brown Avenue) at exit 2 and NH 28 (South Willow Street) at exit 1, both of which provide access to Manchester–Boston Regional Airport, the state's largest. The latter exit also provides access to the Mall of New Hampshire and the large retail district around it. Continuing east, I-293 ends at a Y-interchange with I-93. NH 101 joins I-93 north for a short concurrency, along which there is a single interchange at exit 6 with Candia Road and Hanover Street. At exit 7, NH 101 leaves I-93 and turns back to the east as a four-lane freeway. The sections of NH 101 that are cosigned with I-93 and I-293 are posted with the mile markers and exit numbers of the respective Interstate, and have a posted speed limit of 55 miles per hour (89 km/h).

Eastern segment (Manchester to Hampton Beach)

After splitting off from I-93, NH 101 is posted with mile markers which begin at mile 100 (and do not reflect the route's actual mileage) and exit numbers begin sequentially at 1. The westbound exit ramps to I-93 are unnumbered. Between I-93 and exit 1 in Manchester, as well as between I-95 and Landing Road in Hampton, the NH 101 freeway carries a posted speed limit of 55 miles per hour (89 km/h). The remainder of the freeway has a posted speed limit of 65 miles per hour (105 km/h) and a minimum speed requirement of 45 miles per hour (72 km/h).

NH Route 101 (eastbound) highway shield in Candia

The NH 101 freeway has one exit in Manchester, exit 1 to NH 28 Bypass (Londonderry Turnpike), after which NH 101 crosses into Auburn, north of Massabesic Lake. In Auburn, exit 2 provides access to Hooksett Road and NH 121. Next the freeway turns northeast into Candia, where there is a trumpet interchange with NH 43 at exit 3. NH 101 continues southeast, then east into Raymond, where exit 4 (Old Manchester Road) provides access to the main village of Raymond and exit 5 provides access to NH 107 (Freetown Road) with nearby connections to NH 27, NH 156 and NH 102. Continuing east into Epping, exit 6 serves Depot Road and Beede Hill Road, and exit 7 provides access NH 125 (Calef Highway). Exit 8 is in Brentwood at North Road, which provides access to the New England Dragway and NH 27. In Exeter, exits 9 (NH 27) and 10 (NH 85) each provide access to the main village and central business district. Exits 11 (NH 108 to NH 33 / NH 88) and exit 12 (NH 111) are located along the Exeter / Stratham town line. Entering the seacoast town of Hampton, NH 101 has an unnumbered and tolled interchange with I-95 and, immediately afterward, exit 13 connects to NH 27. East of exit 13, NH 101 narrows into a super-2 freeway. There is an unnumbered interchange with US 1 (the Hampton Rotary) which provides access to downtown, before the freeway section ends at a traffic light with Landing Road to the east.

NH 101 enters Hampton Beach as a full-access two-lane highway, crosses the marshy estuary system of the Hampton River and its tributaries, then splits into a pair of one-way streets (Highland Avenue eastbound and Church Street westbound) before reaching its eastern terminus at NH 1A (Ocean Boulevard).


Most of the eastern section of NH 101 was originally planned as part of the canceled New England East–West Highway from Albany, New York to Portsmouth. Because of the cancellation, NH 101 remained a two-lane freeway until the mid-1990s. This road was colloquially known as the Highway of Death for its numerous accidents and large signs at the start of the two-lane freeway segment between exits 5 and 6 in Raymond that displayed the number of fatalities that had occurred.[2][3] In the mid-1990s, the two-lane freeway segment was dualized over much of the swampland that it traversed in Rockingham County, creating a full divided controlled-access freeway between Manchester and I-95.

In 1991, an overpass was constructed over North Road in Brentwood near the Rockingham County Jail Farm for the future routing of NH 101. However, the NH 101 expressway was not built in this area until 2000, giving the bridge the nickname the "bridge to nowhere."[4]

Several portions of the highway have been named after prominent figures by the state legislature. According to the state Department of Transportation, the portion from Keene to the Merrimack River was named the Horace Greeley Highway in 1949. The name Robert C. Erler Highway was given to the stretch of highway "from a beginning point at the Auburn-Candia town line to the Raymond-Epping town line" in 1981. Erler was a former Raymond town selectman and state legislator. In 1995, the name Jay McDuffee Highway was given to the stretch "from the Epping/Raymond town line to its terminus in Hampton."[5]

New Hampshire Route 51

NH Route 51 1983.svg

NH 101 between NH 108 in Stratham, just east of the Exeter town line, to New Hampshire Route 1A in Hampton Beach was opened in 1963 as the Exeter-Hampton Expressway.[6][7] It was marked with round shields featuring the highway's name and was later designated NH 51 in the 1980s. This designation remained until October 1994.[8] During this time, NH 101 exited the expressway at exit 11 and was cosigned with NH 108 north into Stratham.[9] At the Stratham Traffic Circle, NH 101 split from NH 108 and followed what is now the entirety of NH 33 into downtown Portsmouth, terminating at US 1.

On NH 51, there were two traffic lights located on the limited access two-lane highway: the east-end lights at the terminus of NH 88 southeast of exit 11 and the west-end lights west of the Newfields (then-NH 85) exit with what is now New Hampshire Route 27. While NH 88 was rerouted on a new stretch of road to intersect with NH 108 just south of the NH 101/108 SPUI interchange at exit 11, the Newfields exit was upgraded to a full diamond interchange and became exit 10. NH 27 west of Stratham was formerly NH 101 prior to the completion of the four-lane bypass.

In October 1994, NH 101 was re-routed onto the NH 51 highway between Exeter and Hampton Beach, with the entire expressway becoming NH 101.[10] The existing NH 101 designation was removed from NH 108 between the exit 11 interchange and the Stratham Traffic Circle, and the remaining section of old NH 101 between the Stratham Traffic Circle and downtown Portsmouth became was redesignated as NH 33. The NH 51 designation became redundant and was removed entirely.


NH 101 has long been proposed as a part of the greater East–West Highway, which would provide upgraded freeway connections across the three northern New England states (Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont). Some early proposals suggested that the route should be part of the Interstate Highway System as I-92, but these were rejected. More recent proposals have suggested that the entire route could be part of a privately maintained toll road.

Future Interstate 92

LocationAlbany, NY –
Portsmouth, NH or
Glens Falls, NY – Calais, ME

Northern New England is served by the following major north–south freeways radiating generally northward from Boston, Massachusetts:

However, the northernmost complete east–west freeway within the region, I-90 in Massachusetts, does not enter northern New England. Continuous east–west freeway travel through (and within) northern New England is presently accomplished by three segments, only one of which is truly east–west. The most major east-west highways useful for long distance travel are as follows:

Major intersections


NH 9 / NH 10 north / NH 12 north (Franklin Pierce Highway) – Brattleboro VT, Concord, Walpole
Western terminus of NH 101
NH 10 south (Winchester Street) – Winchester
Eastern end of concurrency with NH 10
NH 12 south (Main Street / Lower Main Street) – Troy
Eastern end of concurrency with NH 12
NH 124 east (Jaffrey Road) – Jaffrey
Western terminus of NH 124
Dublin15.62625.148 NH 137 (Brush Brook Road) – Hancock, Jaffrey
US 202 west (Grove Street) – Jaffrey
Western end of concurrency with US 202

US 202 east / NH 123 north (Granite Street) – Hancock, Concord
Eastern end of concurrency with US 202; western end of concurrency with NH 123
NH 123 south (Elm Hill Road) – Sharon, New Ipswich
Eastern end of concurrency with NH 123
NH 45 south (Senator Tobey Highway) – Temple, Greenville
Northern terminus of NH 45
NH 31 south (Greenville Road) – Greenville, Mason, New Ipswich
Western end of concurrency with NH 31
NH 31 north (Island Street) – Wilton, Greenfield
Eastern end of concurrency with NH 31
NH 101A east (Elm Street) – Milford
Western terminus of NH 101A
38.34961.717 NH 13 (South Street) – Milford, BrooklineInterchange
39.99764.369 NH 101A (Nashua Street) – Milford, NashuaInterchange
Amherst41.11066.160 NH 122 (Ponemah Road)Interchange; eastbound exit and westbound entrance
42.97469.160 NH 122 (Baboosic Lake Road) – AmherstInterchange
NH 114 north / Boynton Street – Goffstown
At-grade intersection; western terminus of freeway; southern terminus of NH 114
To US 3 (Kilton Road (WB), Meetinghouse Road/S. River Road (EB))
Everett Turnpike / I-293 north – Merrimack, Nashua, Manchester, Concord
Western end of concurrency with I-293; exit number not signed
Manchester55.16088.7712 NH 3A (Brown Avenue) – Litchfield
55.78789.7801 NH 28 (South Willow Street) – Mall of New Hampshire
I-93 south / I-293 – Boston
Southern terminus of I-293; western end of concurrency with I-93
58.90094.7906Candia Road / Hanover Street
I-93 north – Concord
Eastern end of concurrency with I-93; exit number not signed westbound
NH 28 Bypass (Londonderry Turnpike) to I-93 – Auburn, Hooksett
To NH 121 / Hooksett Road – Auburn, Candia
NH 43 north (Old Candia Road) – Candia, Deerfield
Trumpet interchange; southern terminus of NH 43
Raymond71.979115.8394Old Manchester Road  – RaymondSigns stating "Local Traffic Only" removed in 2015; Raymond not signed going eastbound

NH 107 (Freetown Road) to NH 102 / NH 156 – Raymond, Fremont
Epping76.021122.3446Depot Road / Beede Hill Road
78.288125.9927 NH 125 (Calef Highway) – Epping, Kingston
To NH 27 (North Road)
Formerly known as the Bridge to Nowhere
Exeter83.586134.5199 NH 27 (Epping Road) – Exeter
85.101136.95710 NH 85 (Newfields Road) – Exeter, Newfields

NH 108 (Portsmouth Avenue) to NH 33 / NH 88 – Stratham, Exeter
Exeter88.942143.13812 NH 111 (North Hampton Road) – Exeter, North Hampton
Hampton90.566145.752 I-95 (Blue Star Turnpike) – Portsmouth, BostonTrumpet interchange; exit 2 on I-95; Hampton Side Toll Plaza
91.276146.89413 NH 27 (Exeter Road) – HamptonRoadway narrows to a two-lane undivided freeway east of this interchange
92.884149.482 US 1 (Lafayette Road) – Hampton, Seabrook
93.731150.845Eastern terminus of freeway
95.189153.192 NH 1A (Ocean Boulevard) – Hampton Beach
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Suffixed routes

New Hampshire Route 101A

New Hampshire Route 101A

Length13.819 mi[1] (22.240 km)

New Hampshire Route 101A (abbreviated NH 101A) is a 13.819-mile-long (22.240 km) east–west highway in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, connecting Milford and Nashua. It also runs through Merrimack and Amherst and very briefly touches Hollis.

The western terminus of NH 101A is in western Milford at the intersection with NH 101. The eastern terminus is in the center of Nashua, when it meets New Hampshire Route 111 at the Merrimack River. Most of it is two lanes in each direction, sometimes with a central turning lane.

Route 101A is quite busy by southern New Hampshire standards, with traffic ranging from 26,000 vehicles per weekday in Nashua to 9,000 in western Milford. [1]

The road carries a number of names. In Milford it is Elm Street and then Nashua Street; in Amherst and Merrimack it is the Milford Road or, more commonly, just 101A; in Nashua it is Amherst Street. There is some confusion over the eastern terminus; Google Maps shows the route continuing to the Taylor Falls Bridge and ending at the bridge, while the official New Hampshire route map shows the route ending at the eastern terminus of Amherst Street, where it meets Main Street and Concord Street.[12] Local signage also stops at the end of Amherst Street.

New Hampshire Route 101B

New Hampshire Route 101B was a designation once held by two separate state highways in New Hampshire. Although the two segments did not directly connect, they were linked at the time by their parent route, New Hampshire Route 101.

Western segment

New Hampshire Route 101B


The western segment of NH 101B was a roughly 8.5-mile-long (13.7 km) east–west road in the Manchester area. The western terminus of the route was at U.S. Route 3 and New Hampshire Route 28 in Hooksett, the current western terminus of New Hampshire Route 27. The eastern terminus was at NH 101 near Candia.

All of the western segment of NH 101B was renumbered NH 27 at an unknown time.[13]

Eastern segment

New Hampshire Route 101B


The eastern segment of NH 101B was a short east–west road in downtown Portsmouth. The western terminus was at the intersection of Islington Street and Middle Road, where NH 101, which followed the present alignment of New Hampshire Route 33 into Portsmouth, departed the routing of NH 33 and followed Islington Street to U.S. Route 1. NH 101B continued east on Middle Road and South Street, following the modern alignment of NH 33 to the present eastern terminus of NH 33 at US 1. At US 1, NH 101B continued east on South Street, running along the local street to its eastern terminus at New Hampshire Route 1B.

Prior to 1971, NH 101B from Islington Street east to US 1 became NH 101 while Islington Street and the portion of NH101B east of US 1 reverted to city maintenance. This section of NH 101 was renumbered to NH 33 in 1994.[13]

New Hampshire Route 101C

New Hampshire Route 101C

LocationHampton Beach

New Hampshire Route 101C ran from NH 108 east along what is now NH 27 to NH 1A in Hampton Beach.

New Hampshire Route 101D

New Hampshire Route 101D

LocationHamptonHampton Beach

The portion of NH 111 between New Hampshire Route 27 in Hampton and NH 1A in Hampton Beach was once designated New Hampshire Route 101D.[13]

New Hampshire Route 101E

New Hampshire Route 101E

Length2.357 mi[1] (3.793 km)

New Hampshire Route 101E is a short stretch of urban road 2.357 miles (3.793 km) in length in Hampton. This road connects Lafayette Road (U.S. Route 1) with Ocean Boulevard (New Hampshire Route 1A). NH 101E is locally named Winnacunnet Road. Despite its name, this highway has never connected with NH 101 or any of its spurs. The entire route is maintained by the town of Hampton.

Guide signs exist at the eastern terminus at NH 1A, but along the road itself, there is no signage to indicate the route's number. It is not known as Route 101E to local residents, who call it Winnacunnet Road.


  1. ^ a b c d e Bureau of Planning & Community Assistance (February 20, 2015). "NH Public Roads". Concord, New Hampshire: New Hampshire Department of Transportation. Retrieved April 7, 2015.
  2. ^ Ford, Royal (May 9, 1991). "Safety drives N.H. 'Death Zone' debate". The Boston Globe. p. 39. Retrieved February 7, 2019 – via
  3. ^ "The top 10 Local Stories of 1999: Route 101 rolls". Archived from the original on June 4, 2008. Retrieved October 20, 2007 – via Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Haberman, Steve (May 29, 2001). "Route 101 no longer a death trap". Retrieved February 8, 2019.
  5. ^ [N.H. Department of Transportation internal document: "New Hampshire Named Highways, Rest Areas, Bridges, etc. (1900 to 2016)"]
  6. ^ "Exeter, Hampton Get New Highway". The Portsmouth Herald. Portsmouth, New Hampshire. July 11, 1963. p. 1. Retrieved February 7, 2019 – via
  7. ^ "Hampton-Exeter Road is Complete". Nashua Telegraph. Nashua, New Hampshire. AP. August 3, 1963. p. 12. Retrieved February 7, 2019 – via
  8. ^ "51 from 1A to 101 is now 101: Got it?". The Boston Globe. October 9, 1994. p. 6-NH. Retrieved February 7, 2019 – via
  9. ^ Ford, Royal (May 9, 1991). "Safety, environment drive 'Death Zone' debate". The Boston Globe. p. 46. Retrieved February 7, 2019 – via
  10. ^ "SENATE BILL 644-FN-A". New Hampshire General Court. 1994. Retrieved July 8, 2019. AN ACT appropriating funds for the redesignation of a portion of New Hampshire Route 51 as New Hampshire Route 101.
  11. ^ a b Bureau of Planning & Community Assistance (April 3, 2015). "Nodal Reference 2015, State of New Hampshire". New Hampshire Department of Transportation. Retrieved April 7, 2015.[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ "Official New Hampshire State Route Map". New Hampshire Department of Transportation. Retrieved 29 January 2020.
  13. ^ a b c d New Hampshire Routes 101-125

External links